David Gills (1914 - 1970)

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David Gills Biography & Family History

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Timeline

1914 - In the year that David Gills was born, in August, the Panama Canal opened to traffic. Begun by the French in the 1880's and abandoned, the United States undertook further construction in 1904. After 10 years, and the elimination of malaria carrying mosquitoes (which caused immense delays for the French and the Americans), the 48 mile long artificial waterway - a series of locks - created a shortcut for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

1921 - At the age of just 7 years old, David was alive when the silent film The Sheik, directed by George Melford and starring Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres (also featuring Adolphe Menjou) debuted on October 21st. Critics weren't enthusiastic but the public loved it - in the first few weeks 125,000 people had seen the movie - and it eventually exceeded $1 million in ticket sales. And Rudolph Valentino, an Italian American, became the heartthrob of a female generation.

1941 - By the time he was 27 years old, on June 25th, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, prohibiting racial discrimination in the defense industry. EO 8802 was the first federal action to prohibit employment discrimination - without prejudice as to "race, creed, color, or national origin" - in the U.S. Civil Rights groups had planned a march on Washington D.C. to protest for equal rights but with the signing of the Order, they canceled the March.

1943 - By the time he was 29 years old, on June 20th through June 22nd, the Detroit Race Riot erupted at Belle Isle Park. The rioting spread throughout the city (made worse by false rumors of attacks on blacks and whites) and resulted in the deployment of 6,000 Federal troops. 34 people were killed, (25 of them black) - mostly by white police or National Guardsmen, 433 were wounded (75 percent of them black) and an estimated $2 million of property was destroyed. The same summer, there were riots in Beaumont, Texas and Harlem, New York.

1970 - In the year of David Gills's passing, on May 1st, US troops invaded Cambodia, expanding the Vietnam War. The invasion of Cambodia was a Nixon policy, although it was argued against by both his Secretary of State and his Secretary of Defense.

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Obituary

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David Gills passed away in July 1970 at age 56. No cause of death has been entered for David. He was born on March 2, 1914. We have no information about David's immediate family.

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